Why is it that it only took one time for my cat to associate the sound of pulling dental floss out of the container with a chance to play with string, yet after many, many repeated events he still does not associate climbing the screen door with the unpleasant effect of being squirted with the water bottle?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The race has officially begun. Now that the venue and dates are settled, I have 24 days to find people who will do special music, lead song service, play piano, lead prayer and read scripture, and otherwise help with assorted stagehand tasks for three entire weeks of Restoration meetings. Pray for me. No, don't just pray. Sign up.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Over Christmas vacation, I had the opportunity to play a solo at the church where I grew up. Things always seem to change when you've been gone for a while (like the old saying, "you can't go home again")--most of my old academy buddies have long since moved away, the church has mostly new pastoral staff, and, as many larger SDA churches, the spiritual focus seems to have shifted too, away from the old-fashioned Biblical focus towards following the current worldly marketing trends.
No matter how the trends in society change over time however, there will always be plenty of people in each church who have retained the spirit of simple, Christlike thoughtfulness. I received an envelope full of encouragement in the mail this week in the form of the good ol' "blue cards" I grew up with--made available in all of the pews and sent out by the church to other members and friends for encouragement. These are the kind of notes I always used to get whenever I played in church, starting from when I was about 13 years old. I collected a very large pile over the years; I think I still have most of them. They are among the inspirations that made me continue as a violinist. I thought that if the church members were blessed by my music, maybe there was a ministry for me in it. I was so excited to see that some of the very same people who sent me cards in the past were still sending them (I received about 8 of them this week).
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Happy new year to all! I have returned to sunny (not really) southern California after a lovely vacation to visit my parents in Ohio. It was such a wonderful break, to be able to relax and enjoy time with my family. (To my dad, who checks my blog regularly: hi dad! Thanks for the nice Christmas!) Highlights of my vacation included going to a very nice restaurant overlooking the Cincinnati skyline for my mother's birthday; visiting some old friends and their new babies as well as seeing my old colleagues in the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the New Year's Eve concert; not being able to find a single parking space at the mall the day after Christmas and giving up and going to Jungle Jim's instead (as close to an amusement park as a grocery store can be--actually well worth the trip if you are ever in the Dayton/Cincinnati area); getting a chance to play at my home church again after many years, and generally curling up by the fireplace with a soft blanket, a good book, and a Somali cat (couldn't resist adding the link). And of course, a delightful Christmas, as always. When I returned, the weather tradition has continued: This is the sixth year I have gone back to Ohio for Christmas, and even before I moved here I have taken several trips with my family to visit southern California in late December-early January, and every single time the airplane lands in CA at this time of year, the weather is always the exact same in southern California as it was when I left it in Ohio. About 50 degrees and raining.
So, back to normal life, work (programming Restoration--please volunteer to do something!!!), a new year in Southern California, and the topic of my post. After a prayerful mental review of last year and previous years, here are the resolutions I wish to make for the new year:
1. Not to think about (dwell on) any tough times in the past few years.
2. Not to feel sorry for myself for any difficulties that may be going on in my life currently.
3. Not to worry about the future, but leave it in God's hands.
4. Oh yeah, and exercise more.
I hope that my friends with hold me accountable for my New Year's resolutions!